The Cleveland Indians came up short yet again after being eliminated in the ALDS by the Houston Astros. After making three straight postseason appearances and finishing without a World Series, this offseason will be pivotal for the Tribe.
The Indians have a number of players who will enter the offseason as free agents:
- Josh Tomlin, P
- Tomlin is Cleveland’s longest-tenured player as he was drafted in 2006.
- Cody Allen, P
- Allen has been a strong part of the backend of the bullpen and is the Indians all-time saves leader.
- Michael Brantley, OF
- Brantley has spent his whole career in Cleveland after they acquired him as a prospect in 2008.
- Andrew Miller, P
- Miller was part of a lights-out bullpen that was perhaps most notable in the 2016 postseason but has dealt with injuries over the last season.
- Josh Donaldson, 3B
- They acquired Donaldson right before the trade deadline this season for $2.7 million.
- Melky Cabrera, RF
- Rajai Davis, CF
- Lonnie Chisenhall, RF
- Oliver Perez, P
Carlos Carrasco and Brandon Guyer could both hear their names bounce around the market, though each has club options for 2019.
Manager Terry Francona said the turnover the team could see makes ending the season even more difficult.
“We’ve got a number of guys that are free agents. You know there’s going to be some turnover, and it’s a real special group to all of us,” Francona said. “So that’s a hard one, when you’re saying goodbye before you’re ready.”
The Indians have won three division titles in a row, constantly sitting comfortably atop the AL Central. The Tribe made it to the World Series in 2016 but lost to the Cubs. In 2017, the Yankees clinched an ALCS appearance on the Indians home field after five games. This season, the reigning World Series champs, the Houston Astros, knocked out Cleveland in three straight games.
Shortstop Francisco Lindor said Houston outplayed them and deserved to advance:
Cleveland’s starting rotation shouldn’t see too much of a shakeup and their infield could remain similar. However, the bullpen could use a boost this offseason. As for what comes next, Francona said despite short finishes, the organization will continue to make improvements.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) October 8, 2018
The Tribe will open the 2019 season on the road in Minnesota with a new look, as the Chief Wahoo logo will end it’s 71-year run.